Monday, October 15, 2012
Love NFL for what it is: mediocre
By DJ Gallo
The NFL is a parity paradise. A mecca of meh. An oasis of a'ight.
Six weeks into the regular season, only one team is undefeated and zero teams are winless. Only 10 of the league's 32 teams have winning records, and just three teams in the AFC -- the Texans, Ravens and Chargers -- are above .500.
Is the 2012 NFL bad? Maybe. Or maybe it's just realistic.
Let's be honest: Not everyone can be excellent. In fact, most of us are far from it. Being mediocre is a reasonable life goal. Mediocre is far better than bad. Slipping into the wild card of life is OK. Anything can happen from there.
Last year's Super Bowl winner was 9-7. The previous year's was 10-6. Perhaps it's time we stop pretending that everyone has to strive for perfection and instead make a goal of being OK.
Think of the mediocrity industry that would spring up with the NFL leading the way.
We could sell motivational T-shirts with sayings like "Some Fear" and "All I Do Is Win" (front) "And Also Lose" (back).
Coaches could start tweaking famous quotes of old to adapt to current times.
"Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it. And no one who ever went half-speed peaked too early or got tired before the postseason. I guess it all depends on your goals." -- new George Halas
"Winning isn’t everything; it's the only thing. Remember, I said that when the playoffs start. As for now, though, a 9-7 record might get us a wild card." -- new Vince Lombardi
"Success is not forever, and failure is not fatal. Does anything really mean anything?" -- new Don Shula
We could even come up with PARITY acrostics to inspire us to semi-achieve.
Pride: What do you really have to be proud of? You're not all that great.
Atmosphere: An uninspiring work atmosphere breeds lack of inspiration.
Relationships: Surround yourself with others who are OK with being OK.
Intensity: Steer clear of this. It's not life or death. Chill out. Stress is bad for you.
Time: True mediocrity takes time. It's a long-term commitment to being middle of the pack.
Y?: There is no Y. I guess this could mean to always leave a job unfinished for another day? Sure.
So when you’re watching the NFL this season, don't wonder if the product isn't good. Just accept the fact that it isn't bad. And that's OK.
Quote of the Week
"He told me and earl to see him after the game when they win..... I found him after...." Richard Sherman, CB, Seahawks
Sherman posted that about Tom Brady on Twitter after the Seahawks beat the Patriots and added this picture of him getting in Brady's face with "U MAD BRO?" written on it.
He then deleted the post.
Sherman was OK mocking Brady to his face but thought better of doing it on Twitter. This is the exact opposite of how Twitter works for everyone else in the world.
Stat of the Week
Aaron Rodgers threw for a career-high six touchdowns against the Texans on Sunday night in Green Bay's 42-24 win. The six passing scores in a single game also tied a Green Bay franchise record set last season by Matt Flynn. That has to take some heat off the Packers over their decision to stick with Rodgers over Flynn -- although the jury is still out. Facts are facts: Flynn is more than a year younger than Rodgers and hasn't lost a start or thrown a single interception in the regular season.
Misleading Stat of the Week
Thanks to Seattle's 24-23 comeback win over the Patriots, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is 1-0 against the Patriots since he was fired after the 1999 season. Robert Kraft has a lot of explaining to do about why he decided to go with Bill Belichick over Carroll.
This Week’s Horrible Fantasy Team That Crushed Your Team
Josh Freeman, QB, Buccaneers: 15-for-26, 328 yards, 3 TDs, INT
We are six weeks into the season, and RG3 has already accused the Rams of being "dirty" and has taken a clear flop -- which he essentially admitted after the game.
"I sold it pretty well," Griffin said, laughing. "I mean, the ball was clearly gone, guys. It was a great job of me and the ref being on the same page."
It will be interesting to see how long the RG3-NFL fan love affair lasts. Imagine the reaction if Eli Manning or a Notre Dame quarterback like Jimmy Clausen or Brady Quinn came into the league and did this stuff. Everyone would hate them and call them soft.
Yet I don't want Griffin to stop flopping. His athleticism could make flopping one of the most exciting parts of the game.
Imagine it. Week 17. The Redskins are playing the Cowboys. Winner gets into the playoffs. Washington has fourth-and-goal with 15 seconds left. RG3 drops back to pass and airmails one into the stands. But what's this? DeMarcus Ware grazed his shoulder? Is it enough to draw a flag and get a new set of downs? Normally it wouldn't be, but it knocked Griffin backward into a series of back handsprings all the way down the field, culminating with a twisting leap onto the crossbar, where he sits, smiling with his arms raised in victory and protest. Have to reward that effort with a flag. Redskins get the ball at the 1 and punch it in on the next play.
ELITE Quarterback of the Week: Russell Wilson
Evidence for him: Wilson has Seattle at 4-2 as a rookie starter and has beaten noted ELITE quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, meaning he is the ELITIST by the ELITE transitive property. Also, you can’t spell TRUSS -- the important framework that supports a structure -- without RUSS.
Evidence against him: Wilson has a relatively poor 85.6 passer rating, is under 6 feet tall and has lost to Kevin Kolb and Sam Bradford. Also, you can't spell RUSSET -- a term for homely -- without RUSS.
Five Things To Think If You Think To Think
1. In the week since RG3 was concussed, many experts opined that he needed to completely change his game if he wanted to last in the NFL. On Sunday, he ran for 138 yards and two touchdowns, which suggests he was too concussed to read expert opinions on how he should play football. An obvious warning sign.
However, one week without injury doesn't mean Griffin won't get hurt. If he does get hurt one day, we already know it's because of his playing style. That's established in regards to mobile quarterbacks. Whereas when immobile quarterbacks such as Troy Aikman, Carson Palmer or Tom Brady got hurt, that is simply because football is a rough sport. Got it?
2. Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel said the Chiefs' latest loss wasn't Brady Quinn's fault: "He wasn't sharp as he would have been if he had plenty of reps and all that, but he wasn't the cause of it. It was a team effort that screwed things up, and we've got to fix it as a team."
After Kansas City's Week 2 loss, Crennel had this to say: "I thought that we would be better, and we're not. So we have to try and figure out what that is. From what I've seen, if we do what we're supposed to do, then we would be better."
So four weeks later, Crennel still hasn't quite figured out why exactly the Chiefs stink, but he now knows it is a team issue.
Check back next week for any new developments in the case.
3. The AFC East is the only division in football without a winning team. It is also one of only two divisions in football without a losing team. It's hard to know what to make of the division, or really any division at this point. It's probably even harder for Dolphins' quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
4. Jason Garrett after Dallas fell to 2-3 with a loss to Baltimore: "I felt we fought really hard and well through a lot of different adversities in all three phases. [The Ravens] have been awfully good for a while. This team's been awfully good in this place for a while. We gave them everything they could handle."
How 'bout them moral victories!
5. Since accepting responsibility for a loss has never worked, wouldn't it make sense if Andy Reid didn't do that once? Just to try something else? He could sit down at his postgame news conference and say, "I had a great game plan. It's just that my players really screwed it up. Michael Vick is a turnover machine, and my defense collapses late in every game. Why do we stink? Ask them. It's their fault."
That might be the kind of thing that motivates his team and gets them to accept more responsibility for their actions. Or, more likely, it might be completely ignored because no one listens to the words Reid says anymore. We just like watching his mustache move when his mouth says things.